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Title: Evaluating the environmental sustainability of biomass-based energy strategy: Using an impact matrix framework

Abstract

A roadmap for a more sustainable energy strategy is complex, as its development interacts critically with the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. This paper applied an impact matrix method to evaluate the environmental sustainability and to identify the desirable policy objectives of biomass-based energy strategy for the case of Alberta. A matrix with the sustainability domains on one axis and areas of environmental impact on the other was presented to evaluate the nexus effect of policy objectives and bioenergy production. As per to our analysis, economic diversification, technological innovation, and resource conservation came up as the desirable policy objectives of sustainable development for Alberta because they demonstrated environmental benefits in all environmental impact categories, namely climate change, human health, and ecosystem. On the other hand, human health and ecosystem impacts were identified as trade-offs when the policy objectives for sustainability were energy security, job creation, and climate change. Thus, bioenergy can mitigate climate change but may impact human health and ecosystem which then in turn can become issues of concern. Energy strategies may result in shifting of risks from one environmental impact category to another, and from one sustainable domain to another if the technical and policy-relatedmore » issues are not identified.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta 2500, University Drive NW, T2N 1N4 (Canada)
  2. (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22589257
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 60; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2016 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; BIOMASS; CLIMATES; CLIMATIC CHANGE; ECOSYSTEMS; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; PUBLIC HEALTH; SUSTAINABILITY; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Citation Formats

Weldu, Yemane W., E-mail: ywweldem@ucalgary.ca, Assefa, Getachew, and Athena Chair in Life Cycle Assessment in Design. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of biomass-based energy strategy: Using an impact matrix framework. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.05.005.
Weldu, Yemane W., E-mail: ywweldem@ucalgary.ca, Assefa, Getachew, & Athena Chair in Life Cycle Assessment in Design. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of biomass-based energy strategy: Using an impact matrix framework. United States. doi:10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.05.005.
Weldu, Yemane W., E-mail: ywweldem@ucalgary.ca, Assefa, Getachew, and Athena Chair in Life Cycle Assessment in Design. Thu . "Evaluating the environmental sustainability of biomass-based energy strategy: Using an impact matrix framework". United States. doi:10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.05.005.
@article{osti_22589257,
title = {Evaluating the environmental sustainability of biomass-based energy strategy: Using an impact matrix framework},
author = {Weldu, Yemane W., E-mail: ywweldem@ucalgary.ca and Assefa, Getachew and Athena Chair in Life Cycle Assessment in Design},
abstractNote = {A roadmap for a more sustainable energy strategy is complex, as its development interacts critically with the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. This paper applied an impact matrix method to evaluate the environmental sustainability and to identify the desirable policy objectives of biomass-based energy strategy for the case of Alberta. A matrix with the sustainability domains on one axis and areas of environmental impact on the other was presented to evaluate the nexus effect of policy objectives and bioenergy production. As per to our analysis, economic diversification, technological innovation, and resource conservation came up as the desirable policy objectives of sustainable development for Alberta because they demonstrated environmental benefits in all environmental impact categories, namely climate change, human health, and ecosystem. On the other hand, human health and ecosystem impacts were identified as trade-offs when the policy objectives for sustainability were energy security, job creation, and climate change. Thus, bioenergy can mitigate climate change but may impact human health and ecosystem which then in turn can become issues of concern. Energy strategies may result in shifting of risks from one environmental impact category to another, and from one sustainable domain to another if the technical and policy-related issues are not identified.},
doi = {10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.05.005},
journal = {Environmental Impact Assessment Review},
number = ,
volume = 60,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Sep 15 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Thu Sep 15 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}